Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Does the Embody Chair Really Work?

If you sit at your desk for hours a day, you probably think of what you sit in as just another part of your body. It never occurred to me that what I sat in could actually help me feel better . . . much less think better. Nonetheless, with the new Embody Chair from Herman Miller, the maker of the chair (Herman Miller) claims to do just that.

But is it true?
After looking at dozens of options, it seemed to me that Embody Chair was the "state of the art." But could it really make you feel better at the end of the day and make you work/think better? I spent some time looking at the research for the Embody Chair.

Some of the articles are below:

Improving Oxygen Flow While Seated: How the Embody chair's design promotes tissue perfusion

Promoting Healthy Movement and Natural Alignment: The research and design behind the Embody tilt

Sitting Can Be Good for the Circulatory System: How the Embody chair lowers heart rate

The Attributes of Thermal Comfort: Ergonomic criteria for the design of "breathable" work chairs

The Art and Science of Pressure Distribution: Ergonomic criteria for the design of work chairs

The bottom line is that Herman Miller claims that the Embody Chair helps improve the flow of oxygen, supports you as you move in your chair, and uses its pixel system to distribute weight properly. In their words:
"Embody lets your body move and keeps you well supported, because your mind works best when you move freely and stress is minimized on your muscles, bones, and tissues. Blood circulates better, heart rate goes down, more oxygen flows to the brain, and there is no distracting discomfort or physical constraint. That's critical in our idea economy where innovation drives success and people get paid for their thoughts and creativity."

The science seems believable enough, but before making the plunge (about $1600!), I looked around to see what other were saying. People at Forbes said that it is the best chair yet. Really? It made rank on the Awesomer. At Gizmodo, they say "it is the most comfortable chair we've ever sat in." That's solid. Then Wired said:

"It may not have an accelerometer. Or an OLED. Or lasers. Or image-stabilization. You can't even plug it in to an electric socket. But the Herman Miller Embody chair has got its back (and yours) covered with meticulous engineering. The thing is adjustable to Asperger's levels of obsession; controls exist to cradle your lumbar, hips and neck. Plus the multilayered seat absorbs even the most microscopic shifts in weight, cupping your derriere no matter how much (or little) you move. It's the greatest breakthrough in ass-to-comfort technology since, well, the Aeron chair."

The greatest breakthrough in ass-to comfort--I'm sold.


  1. Has anyone found it for less than $1495?

  2. I saw a review where the person used the Embody Chair for one week. He concluded with the following:
    The Embody does everything you'd expect a chair to do exceptionally well. On top of that, it gives you an experience sort of like lying in a hammock and moves with you to such a degree that you are able to forget it's there - for the most part - and just focus on getting things done. That, in my opinion is its best feature. You can design your own customer version of the chair at . Every chair has flaws, but Embody has few. I don't want to give it back, and that tells me more than any analysis ever could.

  3. I think Embody Chair is very expensive for office product.

  4. Hello, How do I get in touch with you? There is no email or contact info listed .. please advise .. thanks .. Mary. Please contact me maryregency at gmail dot com